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Colorado DUI per se: a few key points to note

by | Jun 2, 2021 | Drunk Driving Charges |

Following is a sketched behind-the-wheel scenario that might clarify a matter of importance for many Colorado drivers.

To wit: You’re driving down a street, highway or other roadway in the state when flashing lights suddenly materialize behind you. To your dismay, the vehicle immediately trailing you is a police car.

And that concerns you, because you consumed some alcohol prior to turning the key and heading out into traffic. It didn’t seem like much, and you feel in control, but nerves nonetheless fray in any police interaction.

Will you be arrested and charged with drunk driving?

The key factor in a Colorado drunk driving case

As noted by one proven Colorado legal source addressing DUI law in the state, a motorist can be charged with drunk driving if alcohol consumption has rendered him or her “substantially incapable” of safely operating a vehicle.

How is that determined?

Blood-alcohol content is a dispositive factor in a DUI case.

Here’s the bottom line concerning BAC as determined by a breathalyzer test: “If a driver blows a BAC above 0.08, then no other evidence is required to convict them of impaired driving.”

It’s that simple. A reading of that amount or higher – deemed a “per se” or “presumptive” limit – is sufficient by itself to secure a DUI conviction (provided every aspect of a stop proves unchallengeable by a knowledgeable defense attorney). That is, a 0.08 level renders it irrelevant “whether or not a police officer actually observed a driver behaving in an impaired manner.”

Can adverse consequences also attach, though, for a driver with a BAC under the per se threshold? That query is examined in the following post section.

I have a BAC beneath 0.08: Can I still be charged with DUI?

Short answer: Indeed, you can. The latter linked source in this blog entry duly notes that such an answer “may come as a surprise to many.” The fact is, though, that many Colorado drivers face sanctions for driving even with scant amounts of alcohol in their systems.

When they are, it is often the subjective judgment of an arresting police officer that plays a key role in driving adverse consequences. Law enforcers often testify that they observed erratic driving behaviors in motorists with BACs as low as 0.03.

Whatever the situation, the ultimate exactions facing any Colorado driver charged with a DUI offense can be materially severe. An aggressive and knowledgeable defense legal team can provide further information and diligent representation in a drunk driving case.